Tuesday, October 13, 2015

2015 Maine Ski Swaps

Last updated October 13, 2015

Here is the 2015 edition of the @MaineSkiFamily ski swap guide. Over the past four years, I have
posted dates, times and locations of Maine based ski swaps and I am doing the same for 2015. It is by far the most popular pages on my blog so I am happy to do it again this year.

The Ski Swap Line - A sign of winter to come!
To get an idea of when the ski swaps happened last year you can review the 2014 swap page. I expect the schedule to largely be the same but I am sure there will be some differences. As I confirm the 2015 ski swaps, I will post them below.

If you are new to ski swaps, you can read my post on Ski Swap Strategies.

Happy Swapping!


10th - CVA up at Sugarloaf will hold its annual ski swap on the Saturday of Columbus Day Weekend (October 10th) from 10:00am to 2:30pm. Click here for more info.

17th - The Penobscot Valley Ski Club is holding a Ski Swap / Sale at the Bangor Armory from 9AM - 4PM. Click here for more info.

30th - 31st - The Bethel Outing Club is having their 35th annual a ski swap  / sale over two days at the Gould Academy Field House. Click here for more info.

30th - via MaineHighSchoolSkiing.com the Cape Elizabeth Ski Swap on Saturday, Oct. 30th at the Middle School 9:00am to 12:00pm. Click here for more info.


8th - Brunswick Park and Recreation 48th Annual Ski Sale will be at Brunswick Landing from 1pm - 4pm. Click here FMI.

14th - Freeport Schools Ski Boosters Winter Sports Equipment Swap and Sale is November 14th at the Freeport High School cafeteria. More info coming soon.

15th - The 52nd annual Auburn Ski Association Ski Swap will be held on Sunday, November 15 from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at Auburn Middle School on Falcon Drive in Auburn. Check out their website for more info.

21st - Pinnacle Ski Club in Pittsfield has a ski swap annually the third Saturday in November from 9am–4pm Drop off items on the Friday before from 6pm–9pm. Keep an eye on their website for more info.

21st - Via MaineHighSchoolSkiing.com, the Yarmouth Ski Boosters will have their annual swap from 9am - 12pm Saturday, November 21st at Yarmouth Elementary School. Here is a link the swap flyer.

21st & 22nd - According to the Bangor Daily News the Camden Snow Bowl has a ski swap over the weekend at Camden Hills Regional High School. Keep an eye on this website for more info.

28th - Downeast Ski Club ski sale is held annually the Saturday after Thanksgiving at the Portland Expo. More info here.


6th - 7th - Greely and Falmouth ski teams usually have their ski swaps over this weekend. I will post information when I receive it.

As I receive confirmation of other 2015 swaps I will be updating this blog post. Feel free to comment on the post if you know of other Maine based swaps that are happening and I will update the list.

Prior 2015 Swaps

Sunday, August 16, 2015

August 2015 Trip to Baxter State Park - Russell Pond

Once again the @MaineSkiFamily crew took our annual trip to Baxter State Park - Russell Pond campground. As we did last year, we took along our friend Caiden and we had a most enjoyable
The crew ready for the hike in.

The hike into Russell starts at the Roaring Brook campground which is a popular starting point for hiking Katahdin. Our journey takes us 7 miles north into the central part of the park. It is the most remote campground in the park and is surrounded by views of the Kathadin range and very good trout fishing waters. We took the Russell Pond Trail on the way in which required a rock hop and a ford of the Wassataquoik stream but the stream levels were low so it was not too hard.

The campground was full of campers but most were there for hiking purposes. We were the only people fishing in the 4 days we were there. While August isn't "prime time" for fishing, we found
Native Russell Pond Brook Trout
the fishing to be extremely good this year. Each evening, the fish were rising on Russell and eagerly attacked our flies on the water. We found the most success with the Hornburg and White Wolf flies. We landed many trout in the 7" to 9" range, and each evening brought a fish or two 11"-12". Each evening we each landed 5 to 10 fish - mostly catch and release but we did keep a couple for the frying pan. These waters are designated heritage trout waters by the State of Maine and they have never been stocked with hatchery fish.

An 11" Brookie on a Fly Rod is a lot of fun!
These waters do allow bait fishing but this was the first year we all fly fished exclusively. All the boys did a very good job handling their fly rods and we had great success.

The other spot we fished was an area called Six Ponds. It is an additional 1.5 mile hike from the Russell Pond Campground. There are two canoes at Six Ponds and we spent 3 hours catching and releasing many fish. We found a spot where it was literally a fish every cast. Most of the fish are smaller in the 4" - 7" range but the non-stop action makes for a lot of fun.
The View of North Turner Mountain from Six Ponds

There are a lot of great side hikes easily reachable from Russell Pond. This year we took a hike to Wassataquoik Lake and Green Falls. Wassataquoik lake is a beautiful body of water. The water is crystal clear and as this green/blue hue that reminded me very much of the Caribbean. But make no mistake the water is much colder! The lake is surrounded by dramatic cliffs making for a stunning setting. There are canoes available to paddle this beautiful spot. There are fish in Wassataquoik including the elusive Blueback Trout but we decided to leave our fishing gear at camp and just enjoy the beauty.

Wassataquoik Lake Cliffs and Crystal Clear Waters

About mid-way down the lake there is a short hike to Green Falls. At this falls water cascades over green moss covered rocks. It is quite a sight nestled into the woods.

Green Falls at Wassataquoik Lake
We rented the bunkhouse at Russell Pond to enjoy good food, campfires, cribbage, stargazing and overall good times. It is a great way to unplug from the world a bit and enjoy some quality time together.

Thanks to Alec, Caiden and Isaac for supplying images and videos of the trip. Here is a video compilation of our journey. Be sure to check out all the fish at the bottom of Six Ponds at the 2:30 mark!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Saddleback in Trouble

Our favorite Ski Mountain - Saddleback Maine is in jeopardy of closing. The Berry's (the owners) have decided after many years of running the mountain at an operating loss they no longer can sustain this pace. They need help with financing a new lift to replace the Rangeley double, and that will hopefully pave the path forward to profitability. Without the lift, no ski season and time is running out to obtain financing.

I know everyone at Saddleback is trying their best. I hope it resolves successfully and we are skiing this winter.

You can read the press release from Saddleback here.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

It's Fishing Season in Maine - 2015 Edition

When the snow is not flying the @MaineSkiFamily crew likes to get out the fishing boat and spend some quality time on the waters of Maine. Maine offers some great fisheries for all different kind of species of fish. We primarily enjoy catching river smallmouth bass and taking an annual trip to Baxter State Park to catch native (never been stocked) brook trout. I will update this page from time to time with some fish pictures.

Late May Androscoggin River Smallmouth - Nice Fish ~16"!

Late May Androscoggin River Smallmouth Bass

A Baxter State Park native brook trout from August - 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

2014-15 Maine Ski Season Wrap Up and Video

Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, we are starting get into the full swing of late spring and summer. The golf clubs are out, the pool is open and I foresee lots of BBQ's on the deck.

Reflecting on the ski season I have to say it was an excellent one. It started with a couple of good
Opening Day at Saddleback - Trees and Powder
November trips to Sugarloaf and then a Saddleback opening day powder day to remember on December 13. After getting through a bit of rain on MLK weekend, we got SNOW and COLD for the next couple of months. Brutal skiing from a temperature perspective but it was an amazing run of powder and stellar conditions. March and April brought moderating temperatures but we really didn't get into true spring skiing until our last couple of trips in Mid-April. 

As a family we got a couple of dozen ski days in primarily at Saddleback, but we visited Black, Big Rock, Shawnee Peak and Sugarloaf. Isaac got many training and race days in at Lost Valley as well. Our schedule didn't work out to visit Mt. Abram this year but we will be sure to get back there next ski season. 

We enjoy summer and all the activities it brings, but you will be sure to find us on the slopes come November! Here is a season ending ski edit Alec put together. Thanks to the boys and my wife for participating in the ski videos, pics and just having fun as a family on the mountains of Maine!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Toasting the 2014-15 Season with a Fantastic Spring Ski Day at Saddleback

Here is to you Mother Nature - thanks for a great year!
We wrapped up the 2014-15 ski season in style and toasted a great year by skiing the April 19th closing day at Saddleback Maine.

The day started out a bit on the cool and firm side, but by lunchtime the clouds left and the bright bluebird spring day was upon us. They had lost some snow when compared to last weekend but everything was still open and skied great. The corn snow was perfect making the groomed trails smooth and the bumps soft.

On Peachy's Peril I was able to stick my 50" pole into the trail snow pack all the way to the handle. We really had some epic snows and some favorable weather to keep the base locked in all year.

Beers, Burgers, Chicken, Pulled Pork and Sausage all available on the deck in the glorious sunshine. Wherever you are raise a glass of your favorite beverage to toast an epic ski season in Maine and the rest of New England!

Thank you to my son Alec for all the edits and to Alec and Isaac for capturing a lot of footage and images for the blog. And special thanks to Juley for putting up with all of us boys this year and getting some great turns in. With Alec going off to an out of state college next year I am glad we were able to share a great year on the slopes together. We are after all A Family Skiing in Maine!

Here is our video edit of the day.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Epic April Spring Ski Day at Saddleback

After a winter of incredible skiing we got an outstanding spring day at Saddleback. With deep cover, the bright sunshine and temps around 50 made a stellar ski day.

After about 11am, the natural trails loosened up and skied great. Everything was awesome all day. Groomers, Woods, Bumps - all were outstanding. The old man took a tumble down Governor head wall - check out the video evidence below... but no harm done.

Enough words - our day was just a bunch of this.

NO HARM DONE! But a bit of a fall by the A Family Skiing in Maine old man on the Governor headwall. Ski got caught and down we go!
Posted by A Family Skiing in Maine on Sunday, April 12, 2015